Mr. Rottenberg came in to the HOA this afternoon to look at his neighbor's proposed landscape plan. Mr. Rottenberg lives in Plymouth, the largest sub-division in Wide Lawns and is in charge of the Plymouth Design Review Board, a position he takes very seriously. No one in Plymouth can even trim a hedge without Mr. Rottenberg calling them in on a violation. Any change made to any yard or structure in Plymouth absolutely must have Mr. Rottenberg's approval.
A few months ago, Mr. Weinstein, another Plymouth resident, decided to do a little landscaping in his yard and installed a Zen garden without permission. Something as non-conformist as a Zen garden would never be permitted in Wide Lawns, and the neighbor's all bristled to see Mr. Weinstein, who seems decent enough and is pretty young (probably 40) out in the front yard feeding koi and raking sand into peaceful patterns. The zen garden had to go. Mr. Rottenberg was on the phone almost every day trying to get Mr. Weinberg punished for his zen garden and trying to get the HOA to force him to remove it altogether. He even called special meetings which ended in terrible shouting matches. Mr. Rottenberg even called ME and cussed me out because there was really nothing that could be done to force Mr. Weinstein to get rid of the zen garden. You see, in our very lengthy Design and Landscape manual there is not a single mention of Zen gardens. All the manual says is that each homeowner must have certain numbers of certain kinds of trees, shrubs and groundcover. Normally, as long as things all look pretty good no one ever really counts to see if each home is in exact compliance. Mr. Rottenberg, on his urgent mission now to find SOMETHING, anything, that he could get Mr. Weinstein on, made Dan and me go to Mr. Weinstein's yard to literally count every single plant. It took forever and it was at the beginning of the summer so it was very hot. It was an extemely tedious job. In the middle of it, Mr. Weinstein comes out raving mad and not acting very Zen at all.
It turns out that Mr. Weinstein's Japanese wife had just had a baby the week before and was nursing and we were invading their privacy. I felt like a huge idiot. We were very apologetic. At the same time I witnessed both a snake and a frog swimming in Mr. Weinstein's pool and offered to fish them out. Mr. Weinstein declined and recommenced shouting at us while trying to get the snake out with the skimmer. The snake whipped itself off of the skimmer and threw itself somehow through the air, causing Mr. Weinstein to scream like a girl and run. I decided that this whole situation had become quite ridiculous and I wanted no part of it. I liked the Zen garden and I realized that Mr. Weinstein had created this garden for his Japanese wife to remind her of her culture and that is a nice thing. Mr. Weinstein ended up having the exact correct number of bushes, trees and groundcovers that he needed, meaning that he could keep the Zen garden no matter what Mr. Rottenberg thought about it.
At about the same time Mr. Rottenberg agreed to dog-sit his friend's greyhound. On his first visit to feed the greyhound, Mr. Rottenberg frightened the dog, who was described as otherwise very friendly. I can understand though, how Mr. Rottenberg could frighten anyone, especially a small dog. He is a large man, with a head too small for his body. He looks as if at one point he was red headed and freckled and he always looks greasy and as if he is in need of a shave. His hair is too long and he slicks it all back into a mess of oily curls at the back of his neck. Obviously the greyhound was disgusted by Mr. Rottenberg's unkempt appearance because it proceeded to bite his nose completely off. It was a terrible accident and required numerous surgeries, but the nose was eventually able to be reattached. He had to wear a bandage for a long time and he had this bizarre construction coming out of his forehead and down to his nose to provide the reattached nose with a constant blood supply. After it had healed and the bandage and construction could be removed, Mr. Rottenberg made a full recovery. He still has a nose and it apparently works, however, the nose was left with a strange scar tissue formation that causes his nose to look exactly like a penis, which gives us one more reason to call him "dick face."